Thanks to increased communications, fishermen’s awareness of and compliance with legal regulations have improved, the department said, noting that authorities’ check and control of fishing vessels, particularly in the waters adjacent to other countries’, have been tightened and shown better results.

Fishing vessels dock at an estuary 

Fishermen in Long Dien district have become aware that IUU fishing may cause serious impacts on their lives and property, so they have changed their plans.

Huynh Tan Nhat, a fisherman from Phuoc Tinh commune of Long Dien district, said that because the catch is no longer as large as in the past, to concurrently ensure a large volume of fish and adhere to legal regulations, their fishing trips have been lengthened, from one - two months each to three - four months at present.

However, to do that, fishermen need authorities to extend vehicle examination deadlines, allow vessels to keep operating at sea when their monitoring systems break down, and let law enforcement forces like coast guards, naval, fisheries resources surveillance, or border guards nearby to come to certify vessels’ status.

Col. Nguyen Van Thong, Deputy Political Commissar of the Ba Ria - Vung Tau Border Guard Command, said this proposal is feasible, adding after certifying the status of vessels, the forces can install a temporary monitoring system to keep track of the vehicles. Expenses will be covered by the maritime environmental protection fund so that fishermen could feel secure about their activities.

This solution can help both strictly manage fishing vessels and create favorable conditions for fishing activities, he added.

Various measures from central to local levels, even from fishermen, are aiding nationwide efforts to carry out the European Commission’s recommendations about IUU fishing prevention and control, towards the goal of having the E.C.'s “yellow card” warning lifted.

Such efforts have been highly valued by Ambassador Julien Guerrier, head of the E.U. Delegation to Vietnam, at a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on April 4, during which he voiced high expectations for Vietnam’s progress in fishing vessel management so as to remove the “yellow card” soon.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan considered this as a chance for the country to switch from a small-scaled fisheries sector to a responsible one. He said having the “yellow card” warning lifted is not only an urgent requirement for Vietnam to develop a sustainable fishery sector but also a demonstration of its sense of responsibility and prestige in the international arena.

The E.C. issued a “yellow card” warning for Vietnam in this regard in 2017. The "yellow card" is followed by a "green card" if the problem is resolved or a "red card" if it is not. A “red card” may lead to a ban on aquatic exports to the E.U.

Source: VNA